To crunch or not to crunch that is the question?

So you have just had a baby and are desperate to rid of your 'mum tum' or kangaroo pouch some may call it. You are feeling recovered after birth and feeling like you could manage a bit of exercise, you scroll through Instagram, snap chat, pin interest, Facebook and see a whole host of ab workout challenges.. am I getting warm and you think right il do one of these, when I get that spare 5 minutes.

Now most probably you are thinking that the way to get rid of that excess body fat around your midriff is to hit the crunches? how much have we been told to believe that sit ups here and ab crunches there will flatten that belly and give you that rippling six pack.. well that maybe if you are Jess Ennis Hill, however really this could do more damage then good if you are early post partum.

Your abs are made up of a number of muscles and each play a different role in the functioning of your core, when you have just had a baby the last thing you should be doing is pushing your abs together and I am going to tell you why?  

- it could cause damage to your stomach in the long term due to the excessive movement without proper recovery and healing

- it will fix the outside of your core and not the inside

- it could leave you with a overhang that may never disappear.

so what should I do then you ask?

Here is a number of factors that can have a great affect on the reduction of your post partum tummy:

* Firstly, exercise aside, let’s remember that great abdominals don’t just come from exercise. Healing nutrition, avoiding inflammatory food such as caffeine, alcohol, highly processed food and excess sugar will all stand you in good stead to losing the tummy.

* High levels of stress and lack of sleep encourage your body to store fat around the middle, now we all know this is easier said than done with a new born in tow however taking 10 minutes each day for you can make the world of difference.

* Engaging the deep muscles of the transversus abdominus and the pelvic floor whilst exhaling on effort in all movement encourages natural tension in the muscles that will draw you in (rather than push everything out.) Here at WomenFIT we offer a range of classes and programs that target just that.. link in to my classes tab for further details via my website.  

* Functional movement patterns of pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging and rotating (with some exceptions!) whilst using the deep core muscles will effectively build the internal strength that most of us are looking for. These are used in all of my classes and one 2 one sessions as many of you will know!

So next time you are tempted to join in the that 'Belly Blast' or sign up to a 30 day Ab Challenge, just check that the exercises are appropriate for your body as it is now

For further information about all of my live classes and sessions and how I can help you reduce and strengthen your post partum core  take a look at my website.

thanks for reading

Charlotte

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